DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP
Australian director David Michod joins up with Robert Pattinson as a slow-minded young man named Rey in The Rover, their second movie together after Animal Kingdom.
Pattinson now has the power to do the movies of his choice, and he is choosing to become a fascinating actor.
It’s ten years after the collapse of civilization and, once again, we find ourselves in the desert with dusty cars and dirty dogs. Guy Pearce is another actor who seems to blend into the chameleon required of roles. They are futuristic Of Mice and Men.
Bad guys steal Pearce’s car, and worse, they leave their brother for dead. Pattinson is slow to grasp the fate of being abandoned when the two men become lost foundlings.
The world is homoerotic in this apocalypse for no reason that is discernible. All the men have paired off as if the ark of survival has inverted the score. So, Pattinson and Pearce also bond as they pursue the car thieves.
You might wonder why a man would be obsessed with his car when he is left a Range Rover in its stead. You might be justified in wondering because you’ve been had by a clever writer and director. As in his Animal Kingdom, Michod knows how to play simple but effective cinema on his audience.
We were hooked on this movie from its opening shot of a near-catatonic Guy Pearce and a near-overly sensitive Robert Pattinson. They don’t make buddy movies like this anymore.
It is all so simple and direct that you realize the effort is called hopelessness. We love movies that use metaphor and setting to wring out philosophic depths to a coat of dust.